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JEN Partners acquires MuniMae subsidiary

The private equity real estate shop set up by former Warburg Pincus executive Reuben Leibowitz and investment firm Real Estate Capital Partners paid $31 million for the affordable multifamily arm of MMA Financial.

JEN Partners and Real Estate Capital Partners have bought the low income housing tax credit arm of the US financial organisation MuniMae in a deal valued at $30.7 million.

The New York-based private equity real estate firm, founded by former Warburg Pincus executive Reuben Leibowitz in 2005, paid $18.7 million in cash for the firm, assuming $12 million in liabilities.

The MuniMae low income housing tax credit (LIHTC) unit is one of the largest apartment owners in the US, managing around 1,800 multifamily properties across the 48 states. The LIHTC programme was introduced by the US government to finance the development of affordable rental housing for low-income households.

JEN Partners said in a statement the firm would now be renamed Boston Financial Investment Management. Neither JEN Partners nor New York-based Real Estate Capital Partners were available for additional comment at press time.

MuniMae said the deal would be broken into two parts, with the first closing covering around 30 tax credit equity funds and the operating assets of the business upon cash payment of $14 million and the assumption of liabilities. The remaining assets will then be transferred upon final payment.

MuniMae chief executive officer Michael Falcone said the sale was part of the organisation’s efforts to become a “smaller, more focused enterprise”.

In June, JEN joined forces with former Engle Homes president Carl Mulac to create a four-man homebuilder Joseph Carl Homes targeting distressed infill land deals in Phoenix. JEN is in the process of raising its second fund, JEN Residential, and held a first close on $30 million of commitments in November last year. A final close is expected by early 2010.